Once a year I host a dinner party in my garden. Thought I would share the experience. Everything you are about to see was made from scratch by myself or one of my dear friends.
This was the first course, cucumber gazpacho with grilled garlic bread. I was turned on to this summer soup when I worked for Tom Douglas.
Here is the recipe in case you want to thrill guests at your own gathering...
6 cloves of garlic
1 cup raw hulled almonds
1 loaf of good bread, de-crusted and soaked in water
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cups pure olive oil
salt and pepper
Blend ingredients together except the oil. I'm a fan of the immersion blender but you could easily do this in a food processor. When the mixture reaches the texture you like drizzle the oil in slowly as every thing blends together.
Our second course was a spinach and arugula salad with seared figs, cambozola and balsamic.
Our main course, tortellini with pesto sauce paired with a lush nebbiolo.
Our dessert course was an exquisite cherry tart with toasted almond ice cream and caramel sauce. I found the recipe in the Sunday Suppers At Lucques cookbook.
I hope these pictures have inspired you to have a dinner party of your own. The sweet days of summer harvest are finally here and there is no better way to enjoy the flavors of the season then to share them with the ones you love.